We believe that The Old Electric has a unique opportunity to understand and to support people in their formal educational endeavours at all ages. We are open to dialogue from students, teachers, professors and education administrators. We have many years of working in participatory and learning aspects of creative arts and fully understand how partnerships can be developed to best meet the needs of all concerned.

Whilst no-one is able to currently stage productions as we have been used to doing, we hope to host a broad range of performative events in the not-too-distant future. We know that it will be essential to rebuild people’s confidence in being in the world again and that specially developed, small-numbers activities provided in safe environments and with a key focus on having fun and feeling part of something bigger will be essential. We’d love to hear from you about how we can support your theatre-going/venue-visiting activity in the future.

We are proud to be connected with a few education establishments in our local area in different ways, however, we hope to be able to broaden the range of activities and partnerships that we can offer to teachers, students and schools as a whole.

We are also really supportive of working within the informal education sector and have lots of experience in adult learning including ESOL teaching.

Arts Award; we have in-house experts on delivering this QCA recognised framework of qualifications from Discover (aged 5+) to Gold (equivalent to an A Level) aimed at those end under 25 years. This practical route to exploring how specific creative skills, leadership, reflection and social connections can be nurtured through the arts is a great asset that we consider ourselves to be leaders in the area in delivering for whatever group may be interested; via formal or informal establishments.

We are happy to discuss how in-school productions, workshops, events or talks might best work for you; including delivering online as needed. Here’s some examples of ways in which we could work with your school, some of which we are happy to provide free of charge or as part of an ongoing relationship, some we will need to charge for, in order to cover our costs:

We have access to a wide range of practitioners with a host of different skills and experiences and can support teachers in delivering aspects of Drama, P.E., English Literature especially Shakespeare, Art & Design, PSHE or History (at KS1 or KS2 level). We can develop in-classroom support materials for you and your students to try out prior to and after the workshop. These work best for up to 30 students at a time.

Using rehearsal room processes to bring to life a text and to provide more in-depth and active insight to characters and storylines. These work best as assembly-style activities (year groups or whole school) and can be developed for Primary or Secondary students; they could be for books that are being studied or for other texts.

We have two very different styles of puppet shows that can be staged at any time especially for your class group in our venue. These include:

Punch puppet looking over skyline

The Diabolical Mr Punch

A fully-interactive puppet and live performer show lasting around 20-minutes. Based on traditional puppet and pantomime techniques, we have given this tricksy family favourite a modern twist that audiences of all ages love (most suitable for ages 5-9 years.) This is followed by an introduction to the puppets.

Nixies of Oak Pool

A brand new story originally commissioned by Blackpool Council as an imaginative story of how the illuminations really came about! This interactive piece uses animation, puppetry, lights and music, lasts around 20 minutes and is preceded by a short mask-making workshop that is designed to help children (and adults) to join in with the storytelling.  

We have recently worked with Year 10 students from Walton-le-Dale High School where we developed a live brief for them to design and make a range of acrylic jewellery all themed around our summer season theme of “Wonderland.” We gave feedback around early designs and paid for pieces produced for inclusion in our venue shop; the money for the school going towards their student Enterprise Fund. We are open to discussing more live brief options.

We frequently work with Blackpool & Fylde College Performing Arts department to provide different insights into the professional theatre industry, these have taken place in their venue previously as part of larger careers-focussed events but more recently online. We hope to work more regularly with degree-level students to provide further pathways to their own creative careers.

We are also developing a partnership with Armfield Academy as Enterprise Advisers via Lancashire Enterprise Partnership (LEP) led by Inspira. We have committed to undertake certain activities to support their students’ understanding of the potential training and employment routes towards the broad range of roles that exist within the Creative Sector.

We are developing relationships with our local Higher Education organisations and have already started to host Masters Level placements from Cumbria University as well as to discuss Dance placements from UCLAN and as part of L6 “Engaging with the Industry” module at Blackpool & Fylde College. We have a unique venue with a broad range of facilities, we would love to inspire our next generation of arts professionals through connecting with us.

We are open to conversations about facilitating other work placements and internships for those aged 18+, we are, at the moment a very small team and so currently would not be able to provide the support needed for those under this age other than as part of a larger partnership relationship.

Our venue is available to use for rehearsals, auditions, projects and final performance pieces by students who are seeking to set their work within a professional arena; we have already been able to support students with visualising how they could present their pieces here including those from ALRA North.

We already consult with a broad range of teachers in our network and are incredibly grateful to them for their insight and support; we hope to develop a more formal Education Advisory Group when things are a little more settled in the world! Please do let us know if you would like to be part of this to provide your feedback in relation to spaces, support materials and projects.

For all enquiries please call 01253 834175 or email tespschools@gmail.com